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Why Chuck From Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Looks So Familiar

André Øvredal and Guillermo del Toro brought our childhood nightmares to life with their 2019 film adaptation of the popular book series "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." The horror film, which is set in the 1960s, is a box office success that lives up to the horror short stories (via Box Office Mojo). The adaptation follows a group of kids who discover a book of scary stories in the haunted home of the Bellows family. The children begin having recurring nightmares inspired by the frightening tales that horrifically transcend into reality. 

"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" stars many young, up-and-coming actors, including Zoe Colletti as Stella and Gabriel Rush as Auggie. But Austin Zajur, the actor who portrays Chuck, has a pretty familiar face. Chuck is one of the central kids in the story. He's not afraid of revenge, as we see in the scene in which he pranks the older bullies who always steal his Halloween candy. Unfortunately, his horrifying interaction with the Pale Lady leaves viewers wondering whether Chuck has a chance at survival, or if she swallows him up for good. 

It's not yet known if Zajur will reprise his role in the sequel of "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." While the 26-year-old actor is still fresh in his career, he's worked on an impressive list of projects that's only set to grow with time. 

Austin Zajur's breakout role was a film starring Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan

Prior to his starring role in "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," Zajur's breakout film was the 2017 high school comedy "Fist Fight." The movie stars major names, including Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, and Charlie Day. It was a massive success, earning $41 million at the worldwide box office (via Box Office Mojo). 

Zajur's character Neil is a conniving student at the school, where he also works at the student newspaper. He's pretty smart, blackmailing his teacher, Mr. Campbell (Day), into buying him a MacBook in exchange for discrediting a negative story about Campbell that's published in the paper. Neil also sells Mr. Campbell drugs at school and tries to get himself an iPhone out of the deal. 

Neil definitely showcases Zajur's ability to take on strong comedic roles, particularly when he's tasked with performing alongside vets. In one high-energy scene, Ice Cube goes after Neil with an axe. While Zajur could've been overshadowed by Ice Cube's massive presence, he holds his own and delivers a memorable performance. 

He was cast in a tragic HBO film called The Fallout

Zajur had a small yet pivotal role in the heartbreaking HBO film "The Fallout." The 2021 movie chronicles the life and emotions of a student who survives a school shooting. Vada (Jenna Ortega) is forever altered by the traumatic experience, which changes her relationships with her family and friends. Once she returns to school, she's very anxious to sit in class and pay attention to her teachers. In an attempt to ease that anxiety, Zajur's character Dan Bonavure comes into the story. 

Zajur portrays Dan, a fellow student at Vada's school. She approaches him during school in an attempt to buy drugs off of him. The molly she takes is too much for Vada to handle, leading her to behave irrationally at school. Her breakdown leads her old friend Nick Feinstein (Will Ropp) to come to her rescue and help her avoid punishment for being under the influence at school. 

Zajur's scene is pretty quick, but it does lead to a crucial moment in Vada's trauma recovery, as she learns firsthand the result of unhealthy coping mechanisms. It's a scene that helps portray the raw nature of "The Fallout," which is a major part of why the movie was critically acclaimed, with the film earning a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes

Zajur starred in Student Body this year

Most recently, Zajur starred as a nerdy goofball in the 2022 slasher flick "Student Body," which was just released on February 8, 2022. The horror film, written and directed by Lee Ann Kurr, centers around a group of high schoolers trying to look cool and fit in. The gang, lead by Merritt (Cheyenne Haynes), targets their villainous math teacher, Mr. Aunspach (Christian Camargo), which ends up being a fatal mistake (via IMDb). 

Zajur portrays Eric French, a lovable kid with aspirations of making it big as the school mascot. Ironically, French meets his fate after the group's celebration night takes a turn for the violent. After an emotional night of drinking and general debauchery, French heads to the bathroom, only to get his skull bashed in by the school mascot. It's a brutal moment that sets the slasher storyline in motion, and French's death is pivotal to flipping that switch. 

The film shows off Zajur's range, and also his inherent nature to portray characters with natural comedic qualities. At the time of writing, "Student Body" has a 62% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, but as the movie was just released, this is subject to change.